Analyze soil samples. Advise clients regarding nutrient management, application of chemicals, pollution prevention and cleanup efforts,or erosion control. Advance sustainable agricultural practices. If this sounds exciting, you may enjoy working as a soil scientist.
Study the chemical, physical, biological and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. Classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity. Soil scientists study soil characteristics, map soil types and document the ecological impact of application of fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, minerals and organic plant matter.
A career as a soil scientist usually entails:
To work in this field, you need to have deep knowledge of soil science, including microbiology and chemistry. You will need to know how to test, study and document chemical and biological changes in soil such that the information can be used for practical applications in the field. Strong communication skills and problem solving abilities are necessary.
Those working as soil scientists earn a median salary of $64,140 (as of 2016).
Job opportunities in the industry are growing at a rate of 5-8%, with North Carolina leading the way with a job opportunity growth rate of 16.2%.
Most of these career opportunities require at least a bachelor’s degree, and some require graduate work or a graduate level certificate.
Explore the many related educational programs available at NC State here:
Explore soil science job opportunities.
Interested in a environmentally important career involving analysis and advising? Jumpstart your career by applying to a soil science program today.